China’s Beef Prices Still Soaring

China's Weekly Beef Prices RMB/kgBy year’s end, some industry analysts expect China’s beef prices to post a 35 percent increase over 2012. As of the end of June, data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics showed the average beef price in 50 cities had already reached 62.72 RMB/kg ($4.64/pound) – up more than 30 percent from a year ago. In Guangzhou, the local market price for fresh beef was the highest in a decade, reaching 74 RMB/kg ($5.47/pound). (Source: Figures released by China’s Ministry of Agriculture showed national average prices hitting 60.52 RMB/kg ($4.49/pound) in early October, an increase of 26 percent from a year ago. Despite record-large beef imports, China’s beef prices have increased every week since mid-April. From January through October, prices averaged about one-third higher than last year. With strong demand and a shortage of domestic supplies supporting China’s beef buying, this price trend is expected to continue in the near term. Through August, China’s beef/beef variety meat imports were 734 percent ahead of last year’s pace in both volume (193,454 mt) and value ($820.7 million). The primary suppliers (with year-over-year increases included) were:
  • Australia, with exports of 92,680 mt (+1,086 percent) valued at $425.9 million (+880 percent)
  • Uruguay, with exports of 52,866 mt (+570 percent) valued at $197.3 million (+668 percent)
  • New Zealand, with exports of 30,745 mt (+637 percent) valued at $134.2 million (+730 percent)
  • Canada, with exports of 13,025 mt (+1,552 percent) valued at $43.8 million (+1,278 percent)
  (Import data source: Global Trade Atlas)